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Tournament Equalization Rule
Old 27 Apr 2008, 17:45   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tournament Equalization Rule

Mkerr from BoLS made the following posts shortly after returning from Adepticon. This idea has created a lot of discussion on other forums and I think it's an worthwhile discussion so I decided to bring it here.

The 40K Tournament System is broken. There. I said it.

Okay, no shocker there. We all know that it’s broken. Either we are part of the problem or we complain about the problem. If you are unsure which you are, check your shelves. If you see 3 Falcons there, you are a member of the former group. We also know there is no quick fix to a system as sophisticated as the 40K Tournament Circuit.

Or is there?

Just think on this one for a moment. What if the rule was “except for Troops, an army may contain no duplicate unit types in a single FOC slot”? (For future generations, I dub this rule the “mkerr list equalizer”.)

Let it sink in. If I’m right, that single sentence would fix almost everything wrong with the tournament system.

Note the “unit types in a single FOC slot”. That means you can take a unit more than once, only if it may be taken in a different FOC slot. For example, a Carnifex is a unit type but it can be bought as a heavy or an elite. So you may take one heavy and one elite. Hive Tyrant? Falcon? Monolith? Land Speeders? Sorry, just one.

Flying Circus? Gone. Big Bugs? Gone. Stealer Rush? Gone. Ass-can Spam? Gone. Lysanderwing? Gone. Lashspam? Gone. Two Warpgates? Gone. All of the most abusively broken lists I can think of are gone. Not bad for a single sentence.

Okay, but who gets screwed? It’s not too bad. Necrons will have the toughest time putting together a 2,000pt army with a single Lord and a single Monolit, but they have fantastic Troops. Sisters lose multiple Exorcists, which is rough (but again, more points for Troops).

I like it so much, that I think I’m going to try it out in our local RTTs to see what happens.
Much to my surprise, my little thought exercise on fixing tournaments has created quite a stir with the BoLS regulars. But it did have the unintentional side effect of forcing me to come up with the wording for my suggested tournament fix (that I’ve dubbed the “mkerr list equalizer”).

The entirety of the rule is: “Except for the Troop category, no army list may contain duplicates of any Unit Type in a single Force Organization category.”

It’s worth noting that no rules are changed. You still use the FOC and standard army lists to build your armies. The game doesn’t change at all. You are simply restricted from taking duplicate units outside of the Troops FOC category.

While this doesn’t magically balance the broken units, it limits their effect on a game by making them rare. Fortunately there aren’t any codicies that contain tons of broken units in a single FOC category, for now anyway.

I would like any of our readers that are tournament organizers to give the “list equalizer” rule a shot at the next tournament you organize and let me know if it works. Just email us at belloflostsouls@gmail.com.
I think it oversimplifies a lot. Some armies can't even fill three slots without duplication, for example, Tau only have 2 Elite choices. But I also think the idea of increasing restriction to non-Troops to level the playing field has merit.

I think that a better way would be to scale the number of non-troops slots you are allowed to take based upon the number of troops choices you take.


2 Troops (plus required HQ) allows 0-1 Heavy, 0-1 Elite, 0-1 Fast Attack.

3 Troops allows 0-1 Heavy, 0-1 Elite, 0-1 Fast Attack. and another floating choice

4 Troops allows a second HQ, 0-2 Elites, 0-2, Fast Attack, 0-2 Heavy

5 Troops allows a second HQ, 0-2 Elites, 0-2, Fast Attack, 0-2 Heavy and another floating choice.

6 Troops allows unrestricted access to FOC.

I think another way would be to open up slots based upon the percentage of the army filled with Troops.

So 10% gets 2 extra slots (including HQ)

20% gets 3 (no more than 2 from one section of the FOC)

25% has 4 (no more than 2 from one section of the FOC)

30% has 5 (no more than 2 from one section of the FOC)

35% has 6 (no more than 2 from one section of the FOC, may take a second HQ)

40% has 7 (May fill one FOC section other than HQ)

45% has 8 (May fill one FOC section other than HQ)

50% has 9 (May Fill two FOC sections other than HQ)

55% has 10

60% gets the full 11 other available slots

I think this might work better because it doesn't favor armies that can take cheap Troops slots, my Tau can fill 6 slots with 360 points, barely 20% of a 1750 list. The other version would put armies like Guard, with their expensive platoons, at a disadvantage.

What do people think of these ideas? This is just what I came up with on the spot so the details aren't perfect, but I think it would solve the problem without as much restriction.
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 17:55   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

With the exception of Farsight lists, the “mkerr list equalizer” will hurt everyone's army in more ways than one, and people would be crying out everywhere. Some armies need their duplicates in other slots such as the Dark Eldar and Sisters of Battle. The Scourge is not even usable in any DE list that I know of, while the Sisters of Battle and the Inquisition as a whole needs their long range anti-tank so badly. Then you can also see that other armies will have an unnatural advantage, such as the Orks and the Imperial Guard.

If you apply this system, the Horde armies will be the next holo-falcons as now every other army have no other way of thinning down the horde numbers to make it a fair fight. Marines a.k.a Posterboys of GW will suffer most under this “mkerr list equalizer” and that in itself will bring down this “mkerr list equalizer”.
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 18:10   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

I really like the Astromoni-con comp system. Basically, you get 4 troops and 2 slots in the other categories without penalty. The penalty for going over is minor, so if you wanted to take 3 heavy support your could still manage a very respectable score, but multiple deductions will add up. I reckon the troop limit is a measure designed to encourage variety and put a bit of a limit on massive horde type lists.

There are deductions for duplicate units, with the ones for HQ and Heavy Support being more severe.

For a 1500pt game this system seems to work quite well
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 18:15   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

It makes the list very bland(at least for Space Marines):

- Blood Angels(1 Assault Squad, 1 Assault Squad,Hoonour Guard): Not enough for a proper,jump pack army.

- DeathWing/RavenWing: Enough said.

I reckon it would be terrible for some armies(such as the above) since not everyone can take 1 squad of a certain type and be reasonably sure it will be able to do its job.

Also it would make it more difficult to build themed armies(Raven Guard for example) and would only encourage bland armies.

But thankfully this is only a suggestion and not a rule( I'd be sweating if this was in News and Rumours )

And I play Blood Angels by the by(2 Veteran Assault Squads doesn't make me beardy/cheesy,does it?) and am no fan of NidZilla(such an army commits the ultimate sin - being competitive while being incredibly unfluffy), though I don't mind Lysander's Wing(it's fluffy, but kill those scouts whit Whirlwinds and you're laughing).

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Old 27 Apr 2008, 18:43   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

This guy is a being pretty whiney and I can't believe he's seriously proposing this.

Yes there's broken tournament builds, yes some things are tough to deal with, but this is taking things way to far in the other direction.

As Fishy had mentioned, the Astronomi-con scoring system is like this, only it makes sense!

You lose comp points for

a) Taking duplicate non troop units
b) Taking more than 2 of a single force org slot (4 for troops)

This means someone running 3 halo falcons in Astro suffers a whopping -11 to their comp!

Considering the comp score is a total of 20 that's a HUGE hit.

So yeah, tournaments need some balancing, but this suggestion is borderline moronic.
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 19:02   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

Just to be clarify on what you said there Falstead, in that kind of Tournament, I'd be docked points for taking two Veteran Assault Squads(Elites choice for BA)?

Seems kind of unfair, I mean it's not like it's a particularly "beardy" decision on my part.
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 19:03   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

Hey, come on now, don't beat up on him. Everyone needs to have that brilliant epiphany that they take pleasure in showing off. :P

Although this other adepticon thing or w/e sounds like a better solution.
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 19:07   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

In the first quote, the rule is stated as "except for troops." Later in that quote, it claims to end a "stealer rush". Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't stealers a nid troop? If so, how does this hurt them? As to blood angels/raven guard, they have different troops, so you would be able to take 6 troop choices. (like 6 assault squads for the blood angels.)

But look at orks. One of the most powerful armies today is the ork horde, and that force, (with 6 troop choices and well over 70% of the lists points in troops) would be completely unchanged, meanwhile the heavy support of other armies, usually the only thing that can stem the green tide, would be nerfed. How do you beat 200+ orks then?

As to your ideas Commander_Vimes;

I believe the first one would just encourage lists with 4-6 minimum size troop squads. That means a nidzilla army (for example) would just spend 180 points on six minimum size ripper swarms, and still have all the big bugs. Nothing changes there, and Marines and Necrons have to take more troops, and so cannot have what they need to kill said big bugs.

The second idea has more merit, but it does not really limit anyone who is playing with the RTT army comp rules, as they will already have 40% of the army be troops. That would give them at least 7 other slots, and 60% of the army does not always take up more than 7 slots, especially when those 7 slots are elite, fast attack, and heavy support.

That said, some lists, such as Dark Eldar, work as an army because they can have more units then the opponent, and they tend toward cheap troops to make that work. If you restrict them like this, they loose a lot of the strenghts they had, In part because they will have trouble fielding enough units to out flank and out number the opponent, and in part because they will never beat space marines in a stand and shoot firefight or a basic melee. In practice, it is hard to get a raider squad that costs much more than 170 points, and six of those squads would not add up to 60% of the army in a 2000 point game. Beyond that, these squads are kitted out for melee, static shooting, and shooting on the move, and as such are not good for a tourney, as the cheaper, more specialised squads tend to be more competitive in a tournament environment, and that would further limit the dark eldar player, who was never called a broken army in the first place.

These global restrictions hurt at least 2 fair armies for every broken one they try to fix. A better way would be to just say "No more than x falcons, carnifexes, monoliths, units with lash of submission... etc are allowed." This would, of course, have players yelling discrimination at the top of their lungs, but lets be real. The point of these restrictions are to limit those units. Not other armies. If calling for a restriction on a specific model does not sound fair to you, then do not push for rules that are put in place to do just that, but hide that fact by claiming it is meant to be a global restriction.

That is like what the U.S. south did right after its civil war, when it said that no one can vote unless they own land, pay money, or can read, (differed depending on the state in question) but anyone who's grandfather could vote is exempt from these laws. That meant that the slaves who were freed could not vote, but the 'white' men who were poor and uneducated could even though the federal government said that everyone could vote. It was a global restriction that was only put in place to stop a small group.
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 19:12   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tournament Equalization Rule

Originally Posted by Falstead
This guy is a whiney sore loser and I can't belive he's seriously proposing this.

Yes there's broken tournament builds, yes some things are tough to deal with, but this is taking things way to far in the other direction.
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Old 27 Apr 2008, 19:48   #10 (permalink)
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This does not seem to work. It makes some armies that have many choices able to do things nicely. It makes tau only able to take two elites which are some of their most valueable spots. Also not all the troops are balanced vs troops and some armies like tau need other slots for using things. Filing slots is bad because it encourages Las plas marines. Also antitank for some armies would be bad. Two lashes is still possible with prince and sorcerer.
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